Oxidative stress is implicated to play a vital role in the pathogenesis of various diabetic complications. While reproductive dysfunction is a well recognized consequence of diabetes mellitus, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The present study aims to obtain insights into the incidence, extent and progression of oxidative impairments in testis and epididymal sperm (ES) in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat during early and progressive phase. Adult rats (CFT-Wistar strain) rendered diabetic by an acute dose of STZ (60 mg/kg bw, i.p.) were examined for induction of hyperglycaemia at 72 h, followed by the assessment of oxidative impairments in testis and ES over a 6-week period. Oxidative damage was ascertained by measuring the malondialdehyde levels, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, alterations in antioxidant defences and extent of protein oxidation. STZ induced a significant (2.5-fold) increase in blood glucose levels. In diabetic rats, both testis and ES showed enhanced status of lipid peroxidation measured as increased TBARS and ROS from week 2 onwards. These impairments in testis were consistent, progressive and accompanied by marked alterations in antioxidant defences and elevated protein carbonyls. Varying degree of reduction in the specific activities of antioxidant enzymes was evident in testis and ES, while the activity of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) was significantly elevated. Reduced glutathione (GSH) and vitamin E levels were consistently reduced in testis. Lipid dysmetabolism measured in terms of increased cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids was evident only beyond week 2 in diabetic testis. Taken together, these results indicate that the testis and ES are indeed subjected to significant oxidative stress in the STZ-diabetic rat both during early as well as progressive phase. It is hypothesized that oxidative impairments in testis which develop over time may at least in part contribute towards the development of testicular dysfunction eventually leading to testicular degeneration which culminates in reduced fertility during the progressive phase of STZ-induced diabetes in adult rats.